As a person who still has so much to learn about the publishing world, I avidly search the internet for advice, tips and hints. Some of it is helpful. Some of it is common sense. I appreciate all sorts of advice.

However, I see a lot of “magic be all and end all tips to get your book to be a bestseller”, or other phrases to that effect. This isn’t just for writing. I see it for fitness too. Things like “a guaranteed diet” or “steps to quick and easy perfect abs”.

So many articles and posts project this one “formula” that will supposedly fix all of your problems. I understand that some of these titles are geared towards selling something, or grabbing attention so that people will look at the page. But I just find it frustrating when articles push a title like this, so that they can tell you common sense things. I once read a book with a similar premise, and it literally told me that to be able to hook an agent deal, you needed to write an amazing story.

Oh, gee… It’s really that simple? I had no idea! Guess I have to throw this bullshit story I just spent months writing out of the window.

OF COURSE writing an amazing story is half the battle of publishing. (Although after reading Twilight, I’m not sure if I agree with that statement anymore.)

I’m not saying that these kinds of posts should never, ever be written. I’m just saying that they should advertise themselves correctly. There are some perfectly lovely articles I just read that have accurately described themselves.

  1. Writer’s Digest: 7 essential elements in a bestselling novel

I felt like this was an appropriate title because it was an analysis of qualities of other successful books, and elements that could be useful to incorporate into one’s own writing.

     2. The Writing Life – Amateur Mistakes You Don’t Have to Make

Rather than professing a list of “Do’s”, this goes over a list of “Don’ts”. While I found some of these to be common sense (like don’t have typos), it went over some advice that newbies to the market, like myself, wouldn’t exactly think about right away.

Again, I appreciate the advice of others, but when I see articles that advertise a revolutionary way to be successful, I can’t help but think about men in mustaches standing in front of their carts to sell healing potions. You know, the ones back in the day that wore little hats, funny suits, and worked out of a cart that holds bottles and bottles of “medicine”, shouting to the crowd in hopes that someone actually takes him seriously.